DAVAO CITY, Philippines – “Bakit patuloy pa rin ang illegal logging kahit ipinagbabawal na ito?" a Grade 6 student asked President Benigno Aquino III Wednesday afternoon, September 9, during his visit to this city. (Why does illegal logging persist even if this is prohibited by law?)
Aquino used several stories in the Bible to explain that there is always someone with bad intentions.
"Talagang merong pasaway," Aquino answered. (There will always be a trouble-maker.)
Aquino said that despite attempts of previous administrations to put an end to illegal logging, the practice remained.
He said that the previous policy was to sell the logs through public bidding in which representatives of illegal loggers also participated. "Dati nagkakaroon ng bidding at sumasali sila," Aquino said.
During those biddings, representatives of the illegal loggers get to buy the items at a lower price, Aquino added.
Aquino explained to the students that his administration focused on confiscating logs and making those responsible accountable.
With at least 300 truckloads of hot logs seized under his term, Aquino said that he also ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources not to sell them and instead donate the logs to the Department of Education. DepEd can use them to make chairs and tables, he added.
Do your share
Aquino visited Samal Island for the opening of the newly constructed circumferential road before he went to the gathering of Supreme Pupil Government officers here.
Photo courtesy of the Malacau00f1ang Photo Bureau
At least 5 students from different schools were given the opportunity to ask questions. Most of their questions focused on the environment.
Answering one of the students, Aquino said everyone has to do his or her own share in saving the environment.
Aquino said that the power supply in Mindanao might have already normalized but added that he is concerned about the impact of El Niño especially since Davao is still largely dependent on hydropower resources.
For students to simply turn off and unplug unused appliances in their homes can already be a huge contribution to saving energy, Aquino said.
By acquiring new knowledge and technology through their education, students can now impart their learning to the older generation, Aquino added.
Perhaps one of the toughest questions raised by one of the students was about the K12 program that was implemented by Aquino's administration.
"Ito po ang tanong ko. Paano makakabuti sa amin ang K12?" the student asked, prompting laughter from teachers. (This is my question: How can the K12 program benefit us?)
Aquino patiently explained the concept of the K12 program, stressing that it will provide more learning time to students and more opportunities for them to acquire technical skills. "Sa K12 mabibigyan ng pagkakataon na isagad ang opportunity para umasenso kayo," he said.
Various teachers have criticized the K12 program, claiming that schools are struggling to cope with the changes amid lack of textbooks and basic facilities such as classrooms, libraries and laboratories. – Rappler.com